Among the four Cricket World Cup venues where the Indian cricket team has played, two – Chennai and Ahmedabad – have received ‘average’ rating for pitch by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 is in full swing. All the teams have played at least four matches each and their is a clear demarcation between the teams that have done well and others. The Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team and the 2019 runners-up New Zealand have looked the best side so far with no losses yet at the Cricket World Cup 2023. The Indian cricket team started its campaign with a win against Australia in Chennai on October 8 and then it went on to beat Pakistan in Ahmedabad on October 14. It also defeated Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Among the four venues where the Indian cricket team has played, two – Chennai and Ahmedabad – have received ‘average’ rating for pitch by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Till October 15, these were the only two pitches in the Cricket World Cup that were rated ‘average’. The others were rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
The ICC’s average rating given to two pitches involving India matches hasn’t gone down well with head coach Rahul Dravid, who “respectfully disagreed” with the world body on Saturday, saying an ODI match is not just about batters and their pyrotechnics.
India skittled out Pakistan for 191 in 42.5 overs in Ahmedabad, while in Chennai, the hosts bowled out Australia for 199 in 49.3 overs.
“Main definitely, respectfully disagree karunga. Vo good wickets they.(I will definitely, respectfully, disagree with the average rating given for those two wickets.) I’ll answer this in English because I might get myself into trouble!” Dravid said as the press room broke into laughter.
“I will definitely respectfully disagree with the average rating given for those two wickets. I think they were good wickets. If you only want to see 350 (run) games and rate only those wickets as good, then I disagree with that. I think, you have to see different skills on display as well,” Dravid said.
“It’s not about if we wanted to see only 4s and 6s being hit, then we have T20 wickets as well, where, honestly, in Delhi or in Pune, probably 350-plus wickets as well. Only those are good wickets, then why are the bowlers here? Why have spinners at all, for that matter?”
Dravid said an ODI game is all about showing different skills of players and not just hitting.
“I disagree with that (just hitting) because I think we should see all skills on display, the ability to rotate strike through the middle. See the quality of watching (Ravindra) Jadeja bowl or a (Mitchell) Santner bowl or a (Adam) Zampa bowl or watching Kane Williamson rotate the strike through the middle, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul the way they batted against Australia. Those are skills as well. Those also need to come out and be shown and be displayed,” he said.
“Some of the wickets, even we have played, I mean, honestly, in Delhi and Pune, rotating the strike in the middle overs wasn’t necessarily a very difficult skill. The contest was about who could hit more 4s and 6s. So that’s not the only way, in my opinion, respectfully, to be able to judge wickets. I think we need to have a better way of deciding what is good and average.
“Sometimes wickets will turn a bit, sometimes they will seam a bit, they will swing a bit, they will bounce a bit. All we want to see is sixes and fours being hit in 350 scores as good wickets, then I disagree,” the former India captain added.